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What "High Occupancy Vehicle" carpool should mean
2006-01-11

A woman tries to say she can use a 2 person carpool lane because she's pregnant? Gimme a break.

Actually, I think that carpool lanes are mostly a scam. If the reasoning behind carpool lanes is to increase the number of people on the road by reducing the number of cars on the road, then an HOV lane should require two people with drivers licenses and cars. Ie, it should mean that someone who could be driving, is instead not driving. Sorry, mommy and her baby in a child seat doesn't count. Daddy and his car full of the girls jv soccer team doesn't count.

Granted, the point of HOV lanes may be to encourage a variety of behavior, as can be seen with the recent electric car and hybrid car access permits. In that case, I can see "filling gaps in public transportation" would allow for the types of carpool pickup/drop offs that are common for the SF Bay bridge and in DC (pick up a stranger).

Hmm, this NCDOT study gives the following objectives for HOV lanes:

  1. Provide a faster, more reliable trip for people ridesharing or using transit
  2. Encourage motorists who would otherwise drive alone to choose to rideshare or use transit
  3. Increase the person-carrying capacity of highway corridors
  4. Reduce or defer the need for roadway widening
  5. Improve the efficiency and economy of transit operations
  6. Reduce fuel consumption
(numbered by me so I can talk about them). #1 & #2 are the same things, one is what, the other is how. #1 does provide limits, though, in that if there are too many users, #1 fails, so you have to up the number of people required. #6 means "fewer cars", and is the justification for allowing fuel efficient vehicles. #3 means more people.

So, #2 and #6 follow my point. Now, #3 might hold for non-driver passengers in the case where you otherwise wouldn't "fill" your HOV lane with those meeting #2,#5 & #6.

Of course, for some people you can just be willing to pay the fine. Which is why I sit in the 3rd lane and watch all the non-carpool cars in the carpool lane.


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